Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he isn’t currently planning to rest Kevin Durant at any point in Oklahoma City’s final four games.
“It’s nothing that I’ve talked about and worried about. Fatigue is not an issue with our group,” Brooks said. “His minutes are right at 38 to 39 minutes a game. During this stretch, we’ve had eight games in 12 nights so there’s some time off that we give in practice and shootaround. We’re talking 39 minutes of your day. I think he can handle that at age 25.”
Durant has averaged 38.5 minutes this season and has put in 39.7 minutes per game in April. But with the Thunder almost locked into second place in the West standings, OKC has little left to play for in the regular season.
Brooks, however, has a history of getting Durant some rest at the end of the regular season. He sat Durant for the regular season finale last season, and Brooks also limited the minutes of Durant and the rest of the starters in the 2010-11 season finale.
Durant has not and probably will not publicly point to fatigue being a factor. But he’s struggled with his shot in three of the past five games. He scored 28 points on 11-for-26 shooting last week against San Antonio, 28 points on 7-for-19 shooting last week at Houston and had 27 points on 8-for-26 shooting Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In a 38-point performance this past Sunday at Phoenix, Durant made 13 of 28 shots but took a career-high 15 3-pointers and made only four.
THUNDER TO HOST UNICEF NIGHT
The Thunder, in cooperation with forward Serge Ibaka and UNICEF, will hold a special UNICEF night during Friday’s game against New Orleans.
The event will include a special auction outside Section 120, with a chance for fans to bid on the jersey Ibaka will wear during the game against the Pelicans. The winner also will meet Ibaka after the game. Ibaka will donate his game shoes for a future action as well.